The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) on Friday said the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation’s statement claiming that no administrative or legal measures were taken to deport Qatari citizens from the UAE since June 5 last year was misleading and had many obvious fallacies.
The statement was issued with the aim of avoiding the legal and human responsibilities resulting from the violations carried out by the UAE authorities since the beginning of the blockade, the NHRC stressed.
The statement issued by the UAE foreign ministry confirmed that the UAE authorities continue to procrastinate and mislead the international community instead of finding urgent solutions to the humanitarian tragedies caused by the blockade, the committee added.
The NHRC said it reviewed the statement by the UAE ministry and found it “a desperate attempt to improve their image before international public opinion and international and regional human rights organisations, which have clearly and explicitly condemned the actions taken by the UAE and the arbitrary measures that resulted in serious violations of human rights”.
“On June 5, 2017, the Emirati authorities had taken an arbitrary decision to expel Qatari citizens from its territory and demanded the departure of its citizens from Qatar within 14 days, and imposed a sudden ban on travel for all without any consideration for humanitarian cases, as confirmed by reports of international organisations and parliamentary delegations that visited Qatar after the blockade,” the NHRC said.
This was also confirmed by successive reports of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar that documented cases of expulsion by the UAE authorities without taking into account the humanitarian aspects of mixed families, Qatari students, property owners, persons with disabilities, and patients in a flagrant violation of international human rights instruments.
The NHRC reaffirmed what had been mentioned in its previous statements, including one issued on June 11, 2017, on the consideration of humanitarian cases involving mixed families, one issued on June 26, 2017, on the violation of the rights of Qatari students enrolled in UAE universities, one issued on July 20, 2017, on the violation of the right to private property of Qatari nationals in the UAE, as well as its communications issued on and October 15 and 23, 2017, to the competent authorities in the UAE, in which the committee called for co-operation for purpose of reparation and providing assistance to victims. However, it did not receive any response from those bodies, the NHRC said.
The committee expressed concern over the continued efforts by the UAE authorities to prevent the entry of Qatari citizens and residents of Qatar to the UAE territories, deny their right to access their private property, prevent joint families from visiting and deny the right of Qatari citizens to complete their education and receive treatment without any justification or legal reason. These are in addition to the denial of the rights of citizens to litigation and recourse to national courts in the UAE.
“Many students have addressed the relevant UAE universities in order to resume studies or obtain their administrative and academic documents. The owners of the properties cannot access their property and live in fear of losing their properties and investments or bankruptcy. In addition, a lot of people have lost their jobs and many common families are dispersed, while exacerbating the tragedy of children and women,” the NHRC added.
The committee noted that it would spare no effort to address the issue of the responsibility and accountability of the UAE authorities on all international forums, while stressing that international bodies and organisations – including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, European Parliament, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – and their statements and decisions confirmed the racist violations and discriminatory practices of the UAE authorities against Qatari nationals and residents of Qatar.
The NHRC called on the international community to take decisive and deterrent punitive measures against the UAE authorities and make urgent moves to end the injustice and ensure redress for the victims.